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Nassau County Legislature

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Jacobs Approves Legislation that Tracks Computer Activity of Sex Offenders

Joins Lawmakers in Passing Law Preventing the Sale and Dumping of Invasive Non-Native Plant Species

Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) joined fellow lawmakers in approving legislation allowing the Probation Department to monitor the computer activity of registered sex offenders and other criminals in an effort to protect children from those who use the Internet to perpetrate crimes against kids. The vote took place at the December 17 full legislative session.

All registered sex offenders and those convicted of endangering the welfare of a child where any part of the commission of the crime was facilitated by the use of a computer are subject to monitoring.

“By monitoring the computer usage of these criminals, we have another weapon at our disposal to protect our children,” Jacobs said. “The Internet can be a very useful tool for those looking to harm a child, whether it’s going into chat rooms, using sites like Myspace, or even looking for single mothers on dating sites. But this law will allow law enforcement professionals to watch every move they make on their computer, and our children will be safer for it.”

In other business, Jacobs and lawmakers approved legislation preventing the sale and dumping of invasive non-native plant species in the County. Jacobs said that invasive non-native plant species make their way into Nassau’s waterways when aquarium owners dump their fish tanks, unaware that the exotic plant species being dumped can wreak havoc with a delicate ecosystem. The County recently spent more than $1 million cleaning non-native plant species out of Mill Pond on the Wantagh-Merrick border.

“The natural beauty of Nassau County and its waterways are being threatened by invasive non-native plant species, and this law is a big step in keeping our local environment clean and healthy,” Jacobs said. “Nassau County’s ponds and bays need our help to keep them pristine, and this is one way of ensuring that the natural beauty of our communities will exist for generations to come.”

Legislators also approved pay raises for Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, Comptroller Howard Weitzman, Assessor Harvey Levinson, Clerk Maureen O’Connell and District Attorney Kathleen Rice by an 11-8 vote.

The Legislature also approved several supplemental appropriations:

 

  • $925,570 from the New York State Department of Health to identify/refer infants and toddlers at risk for delayed development. The grant provides services to ensure that eligible infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities (and their families) receive appropriate services.
  • $2,679,604 from the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide comprehensive support services within the community setting for those individuals who are seriously and chronically mentally ill and living in the community.
  • $21,493,107 from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services to provide funding to 32 community based agencies and hospitals providing chemical dependency services in a variety of patient settings to residents of Nassau County. Additionally, it provides for the continued funding for 35 school based prevention and education chemical dependency programs for students and their families in Nassau County.
  • $250,000 from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to purchase and deploy a mobile blood alcohol testing unit. The purpose of this vehicle is to deter DWI offenses by providing a visible deterrent as well as a mobile testing facility that can measure the blood alcohol levels of any individuals suspected of drunk driving.
  • $750,000 from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to set up a multi-disciplinary team to reduce Medicaid fraud by investigating and prosecuting fraud, waste and profiteering by medical and other health care providers. The Nassau County District Attorney's Office is the first District Attorney's office in the state to receive a grant of this magnitude to attack the problem of Medicaid provider fraud.

The next legislative session is scheduled for Wednesday, January 2, 2008.